JANUARY 3, 2023 — When the UTSA School of Data Science opens for the spring 2023 semester, it will welcome hundreds of students enrolled in five data science graduate programs, guided by 30 world-class faculty members who will educate and prepare the students for the digital economy here in San Antonio and beyond.
The new school is key to UTSA’s mission to increase inclusion and success in a field that has historically lacked diversity. This mission is aligned with the university’s long-term strategy to become a model for student success, a great public research university, and an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence—attributes befitting UTSA’s status as a leading Hispanic Serving Institution and as San Antonio’s only Tier One research university. The school will also boost UTSA’s leadership in cybersecurity workforce development.
David Mongeau, founding director of the SDS, will play a crucial role in fulfilling that mission. He is nationally recognized for his success leading data science and analytics research institutes and training programs, as well as in developing impactful partnerships across government, industry and academia to build a data-savvy workforce.
The five programs that will be key to building San Antonio’s data-savvy workforce include the:
“The students and faculty who will make up these programs will provide the critical mass needed to bring more discoveries and more diversity to San Antonio’s growing digital economy,” said Mongeau, adding that the data-rich sector grew locally during the pandemic. “Many of the students who walk in the doors of the SDS will ultimately come out as UTSA graduates with their advanced degrees in such disciplines as computer science, computer engineering, statistics and data sciences, and information systems and cybersecurity – all of which are in demand downtown and beyond.”
The SDS is one of two anchor tenants in San Pedro I, a $91.8 million, 167,000-square-foot, six-story structure that sits along San Pedro Creek at 506 Dolorosa Street in San Antonio. The National Security Collaboration Center and its embedded ecosystem of government contractors and federal partners will be co-located throughout the building to promote cross-sector collaboration.
Just as the SDS and the NSCC anchor San Pedro I, so too will the building itself serve to anchor UTSA to San Antonio’s downtown core. The building is the first of several planned for the university’s expansion in the city’s center. It will serve as a catalyst for economic and community investment in the San Pedro Creek area.
The initiative is already building momentum. In November, UTSA announced plans for San Pedro II, which will span 180,000 square feet just across San Pedro Creek from its predecessor. The walkway that will connect the two building is representative of the connectivity being created between UTSA’s students and faculty, and the business community that will benefit from their knowledge. San Pedro I will amplify UTSA’s cybersecurity and data science programs. In San Pedro II, also known as the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Careers Building (IEC), UTSA will introduce additional programs in business, engineering and science to empower students for careers in these fields. San Antonio will benefit from the work that will take place within the walls of both buildings, as the School of Data Science and the NSCC work with the IEC to leverage opportunities for academic programming and research collaborations.
The School of Data Science marks the beginning of UTSA’s new investment into downtown and the city’s economy. Mongeau expects that in time 700 to 800 people will be collaborating in San Pedro I, energizing the facility daily. That energy will increase when the 300-seat conference space and weekly seminars and workshops are in use.
“Government and industry want adjacency to university talent and innovation. Universities want adjacency to government and industry,” Mongeau said.
The SDS is bringing the data science and cyber expertise to the employers that are looking to expand their businesses and their workforce with this new generation of talent.
“The truly enduring nature of the building,” said Mongeau, “will be the incredible work done within its walls so that San Antonio becomes a national hub for data science that makes our world more equitable, informed and secure.”
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The Texas Coalition for Heritage Spanish (TeCHS) seeks to provide a cooperative platform to support the success of Spanish heritage language speakers and their communities in Texas, assisting and promoting bicultural and bilingual development in the state.River Walk Room (DBB 1.124,) Durango Building, Downtown Campus
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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